basketball court positions

Basketball is the favorite game of many people and this is also an international game that has a huge craze among youngsters. There are no positions that are specifically defined in the basketball game. The basketball court positions of the players who are playing this game are totally different to the other games such as football, baseball and soccer. In these games, there are a few players in the team who should be staying in a particular position while playing the game.

The positions of the basketball are a critical part of the game. This is the main strategy that is embraced by the players to win the game. There are five key positions that most of the defensive and offensive teams in the basketball would follow. The players in this game can change their position and can play in different positions. The basketball teams will be both rosters and players that will let them try out various setups.

The five key basketball court positions in this game include:

  • Point Guard
  • Shooting guard
  • Small forward
  • Power forward
  • Center

Every position that is chosen by the player has its own responsibilities and roles. Earlier, the players used to stick to one position and do not do anything that is beyond this position. However, the critical positions in the game are the power forward and center. These positions would dominate 90% of the game. The guards standing in their respective positions would dribble the basketball up and down the court and these people would not step into the key areas of the court.

Point Guard:

This person would act as the team leader on the court and would be called as the caller. The person who is taking up the responsibility as a point guard should be proficient in ball handling skills, passing skills and should also possess sound leadership skills and decision making abilities. Earlier, the point guards used to have a smaller role. Magic Johnson is the person who has totally brought a sea of changes in the point guard responsibilities. This player would be of small height that would be used by 6 to 8 players to get good passing angles. The main qualities that are to be possessed by the point guard are leadership skills, should be good at running and passing the ball. The point guard is the shortest of all players in the team who is responsible to advance the basketball up in the court and set up the offensive team. This person should have good dribbling and passing skills and should never turn the ball to the opposition.

When the offense is ready, the point guard should be smart enough to read the defense team. There should be a good IQ for this player and this is the main reason for which point guard is called as the on-court coach with the other players. The player who is taking up the role as a point guard should not be selfish and involve every other team member to play on the offensive side.

Shooting guard:

The player who takes up the responsibility of the shooting guard should be able to make long outside shots, especially the three point shot. This person should be good at passing the ball and should help the point guard in handling the ball. These people are the top scorers in the game. The best shooting guard in the basketball game till date is Michael Jordon. This person used to gain good scores in the basketball game. Every shooting guard who takes up this responsibility should be able to get the defense using the outside shot. This player is another shortest player on the basketball team and would start the game by being offensive in the court. This is the best position that helps the team to score well and this position is given to the player who is best in outside shots.

basketball court positions

However, to handle this position, the player would need more than outside shots skill. This player should possess the ability to hit the ball from outside, mid range and very close to the basket. In addition, this player should be able to do different types of lay-ups. To be precise, this player should be able to increase the score of the game despite standing in any position in the court. Shooting guard is a real threat to the opponent. This player would act as the secondary ball handler on the team and would take up the position of the point guard, if the point guard is fighting against another tough opponent defender. When you are defending in the court, the shooting guard would avert the screens of the opposition team.

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Small forward:

In addition to shooting guard, even the small forward is the best and the most flexible player in the basketball team. This person should possess the skill to handle the ball in the court. They should be able to make outside shots and get a lot of rebounding. This person should be the defensive player in the team. This player should have a good height and should be quick to defend in various positions and avert best scorer in the opponent team from scoring well in the game. In most of the basketball teams, the shooting guard and small forward would stay in the same position in the game. These players are called as wing players. This is the versatile position of the other 4 positions in the game to play both offensively and defensively. These people are athletes who do proper defensive in the court and make the best defensive player for the team. Similar to the shooting guard, these players also shoot the ball outside, do scores inside and create points.

Power forward:

This player on the basketball team would take up the responsibility of rebounding and do good scoring. This player has to be of a good height and should be strong enough so that they would be able to clear the space under the basket to let their teammates to score points. Though, not many players who act as a power forward would be scoring well, but they will let the team members to do rebounding. These players are popularly called as good shot blockers. These players are the second tallest players in the team who should possess good basketball playing skills. Earlier, the player who is in this position used to play very close to the rim of the basketball and scored a lot of points in the paint.

Today, the player who is doing the job of power forward should have mid range jump shot skills. They should be trained in a way to make three-point shot. Players who have the ability to do this three-point shot are known as stretch four. These players will spend the majority of their time on the court inside the three point line or in the perimeter. However, their position totally relies on the offense that the player has chosen to run behind. If this player is on the defensive side, he/she should possess good strength to box out the opponent and secure rebounds.


This is the tallest player on the whole basketball team. This player should be 7 feet tall. The center player can score a good number of points in the game. This person should be a strong rebounder and shot blocker in the team. In all the basketball teams, the center would be the last line to defend the team. Many popular basketball players would take up the center position while playing the game. If the center presence is stronger in the game, then there would be high chances for the team to win the game. The center is the prized basketball position in the team. The player who is taking up the responsibility of this position should have good hands and IQ to know where exactly the ball should be moved in the rim so that the passer can get the best angle.

These are the top five basketball court positions. Though, these positions are critical, but the other players should also do their bit to win the game.